Professor Roy is currently involved in two main research projects:
a) "Religion in Public Sphere" (RPS)
The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools.It is a joint initiative of the Robert Schuman Center. Berkeley Law School and iGov (Berkeley University). It has been made possible thanks to the support of the Partner University Fund, the Carnegie Foundation and the Social Science Research Council.
The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the political impact of the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools. The program will approach some of the following issues: How do Western courts or administrative decisions (e.g., appointing Religious chaplains) contribute to shape the notion of “Western Religion?” How do national norms of citizenship and national norms regarding the relationship between religion and the state shape the adoption of different approaches to this issue? How is the integration of religion into public life understood differently across national contexts? Is this understood as a matter of liberty? Of equality? Of some other norm? What is the relationship between religion and culture? How does this relationship vary across the major religious traditions? What is distinctive about religion as a discourse of identity?
Policy makers and the public will greatly benefit from the work of an international and interdisciplinary network of leading scholars who can answer these key questions about Islam in the public sphere and promote research-based policy and public education about this complex and nuanced issue.
b) "ReligioWest" - The (re)construction and formatting of religions in the West through courts, social practices, public discourse and transnational institutions
(In association with Pr Marco Ventura and Pasquale Annicchino from the Faculty of Law of Siena University)
The project aims at studying how the different western states (UE and North America) are redefining their relationship to religions, under the challenge of the increasing religious activism in the public sphere, in particular with new religious movements and Islam Although each country starts from very different and specific contexts of relationship between state, religion and public sphere, this move seems to lead to a more uniform perception of what the relationship would be, and more importantly to the use of a common paradigm of what a religion is, with the consequence of pushing religions, through a complex array of constraints (public order) and incentives (freedom of religion), to format themselves according to this common paradigm.